A Christian Exodus from Public Schools?


Why should we incentivize Christians to leave the public schools?

Last week my local theater was showing The Sound of Music on the big screen. The theater was filled with the lush sound track and the spectacular cinematography. Though I have seen the movie many times, I had never seen it on a big screen. The thing that struck me in this viewing was the visual and palpable difference between the world inside the convent and the outside world. There seems to be a growing nostalgia for this retreat mentality among Christians. People are longing for a world where their children and even they themselves do not have to confront the pluralistic world in which we live. They seem to long for a world where Christians would not even have to look at non-Christians.

A great example is happening down in Texas. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who is also the leader of the Texas Senate, was able to get the Senate to pass the first voucher bill in the state in 22 years of trying. His bill would plow through the wall of separation of church and state and reduce public monies for schools and line the pockets of Christian schools. He was able to accomplish this remarkable feat by demonizing the public schools. They have become the new enemy. His hand-picked “Grassroots Advisory Board” launched a salvo across the bow of public education last week, asserting that placing children in public school programs was putting them in “a Godless environment” and that early childhood education has been “historically promoted in socialistic countries.” During the Senate hearings about the voucher bill, Sen. Donna Campbell called public schools a “monstrosity.” They see public schools as the new “boogie man,” the Golem prowling the streets to snatch-up unsuspecting students.

Now we have it out in the open; these individuals are seeking to dismantle public education. I sat in the Senate hearing and was stunned by the breathtaking disdain for public schools, for public school teachers and administrators. This is a plan to gut public schools, to abandon struggling schools and avoid investing more resources in children. During the hearings it was suggested that putting money into the system would not help. I beg to differ. I’ve visited poor schools and rich schools. The money makes a difference.

I was naive. I thought our elected officials were trying to make things better. I had those rose-colored glasses stripped from my face. The only thing that the Senate hearing talked about was making education cheaper.

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SOURCE: Baptist News Global
Kyle Henderson

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